TALENT SCOUT: Her father, Michael Ovitz, may have founded Creative Artists Agency and headed up the Walt Disney Co. at one point, but Kimberly Ovitz said she only asks his advice "as any normal daughter would." During her presentation Thursday at Milk Studios, the Angeleno's mind was more on art than business. Her Sol LeWitt-inspired collection played up squares, and models literally posed in various architectural frames. "I liked that he used squares in his work to create order out of chaos," she explained. Ovitz is also collaborating with lensman Erik Madigan Heck to develop a phototransfer print. The California girl also is working up to her own transfer — she plans to relocate to New York, perhaps before the end of the year. "There's a lot of talent here," she said, sounding rather like her father.
ZANDRA'S ARIA: "It's just an extension of what I've done with dresses for years," said British designer Zandra Rhodes during intermission at a dress rehearsal of Verdi's "Aida" at the San Francisco Opera, which coincidentally bowed Friday when Fashion's Night Out was being celebrated.
Rhodes designed the colorful costumes and Egyptian set from the time of pharaohs using many of her signature fashion flourishes, such as squiggles, asymmetric silhouettes and bold, printed textiles in turquoise, tangerine, rose and lapis. Her signature fan pleating is used to great effect on the bald, bare-chested priests' cassocks, interpreted as bright, stiff, floorlength hoopskirts in gold Lurex.
The performance is co-produced by the Houston and English National operas, where the show has already traveled. However, Rhodes' work overseeing her designs hasn't stopped. For the Golden Gate City performance, at the request of mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, the designer created a more flowing, floor-length gown and coat for the vocalist's character, Amneris, the Egyptian king's daughter. A departure from the show's more stylized Egyptian silhouettes, the costume was made in orange, as well as turquoise, for changes mirroring those in Rhodes' fanciful sets and staging where a dramatic evil-eye motif is ever present.
Rhodes also has been busy preparing for a special Sept. 24 performance to be simulcast at the city's ballpark, where admission is free. For the opera's visual impact to carry over on-screen, she has had to come up with more tunics, gowns and such for the cast's already sizeable throngs of ministers, captains, slaves and ladies-in-waiting. Her solution for such events? Indian saris that can easily and affordably be dyed, printed, painted and altered as key pieces to costumes without the designer having to bother to start from scratch. "It's lovely to be creating and have this happen," Rhodes told fashion students at San Francisco's Academy of Art University last week of the experience of working on "Aida," her third opera to design. She also was full of fashion and costume tips, including the power of polyester. "Polyester prints perfectly," Rhodes said, as well as holds its pleats.
ROCKER VIBE: Sportmax has chosen Kim Gordon, co-founder and member of American rock band Sonic Youth, to be the creative force behind the sophomore edition of its Carte Blanche artist capsule collection.
Sportmax launched the Carte Blanche project last year with Christophe Brunnquell, art director of Purple Magazine and Le Figaro. This time around, Gordon has designed three pieces, elaborated with a watercolor technique that includes metallic ink and black acrylic. The T-shirt and dresses will have a limited production of 800 pieces and was presented at the Sportmax boutique in Milan Thursday during Vogue's Fashion's Night Out.